The Nats are in trouble with their budget deficits and looking to raise money via increased taxes. But they are tinkering at the edges of the problem, with their petrol tax, and the proposed car park and gadget (“iPad”) taxes.
The latter proposals were so inherently daft (low revenue, hard to administer) that they quickly got laughed out of the court of public opinion (told ya so). The Nats were quick to try and isolate the damage, setting up Peter Dunne in the announcements axing the car park tax and the gadget tax. As David Cunliffe comments at Red Alert:
The really shocking back-story to this tax debacle has been the total contempt which Prime Minister John Key has shown for Peter Dunne and the United Future Party.
Twice in two days Mr Key has publicly put the kibosh Mr Dunne’s new taxes by speaking directly to journalists. Each time Mr Dunne has carried on, seemingly oblivious to how he’d just been thrown under the bus by National’s leader.
Hey Nats – stop faffing about at the edges of the problem. Admit that your income tax cut bribes to the rich were unaffordable, and reverse them. And / or institute taxes that address real problems and will raise significant income (capital gains tax, Tobin tax). Stop pissing about with car parks.